Wow. Hurricane Alex made landfall approximately 450 miles from Houston yet it has rained buckets here all day. Flood watches have been enacted along the coastal lines. I’m so glad my little car made it through the high water on the way home from work. As frustrating as all the localized flooding has been, it pales in comparison to the damage in northern Mexico as two people are now confirmed dead with some reports indicating the death toll may reach five. My prayers and thoughts are with their loved ones.
As a survivor of Hurricanes Alicia and Ike and seeing the utter devastation of Hurricane Katrina, I can tell you these are not just bad thunderstorms. Living through the howling winds and torrential rainfall is hard enough, but living in their aftermaths is equally tough. No electricity for days, no food, no gas, waiting in long lines for bags of ice to salvage your perishable items, malfunctioning street lights – it definitely tests your character, patience and endurance.
Why do some people have an issue with President Barack Obama? I’m not referring to his handling of national or international crises. As a Gulf Coast resident, I have not been pleased with his response to the BP oil spill. I’m also not referring to any of the issues he’s championed. Hey, if you really feel healthcare is a privilege and not a right and don’t want the government involved, more power to you. Take a stand for what you believe in.
I’m referring to the segment of society that disrespects the man as president. You have the Birthers and their assertion that the President Obama is not a United States citizen. When did Hawaii secede from the America? There is the minister in Arizona who says he prays and instructs his congregation to pray for the president’s death. Unfortunately, he is not the only minister practicing this abomination. There are the right-wing commentators who pounce on every single word he says and spins the information to suit their own agendas. There was the extremely disrespectful representative from South Carolina who yelled, “You lie!” during the State of Union address last year. Now, there is an Iowa congressman making news because he feels the president favors blacks or whites. Really? The Republican stated he is offended by the “posture” of the president and Eric Holder, the attorney general who is also black. In an attempt to legitimize his claim during an interview on G. Gordon Liddy’s radio talk show, he cited erroneously that in a 2009 speech Holder asserted whites are more cowardly than blacks when discussing race. In actuality, Holder stated as a NATION “in things racial we have always been and I believe continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards.” The operative word is WE; Holder is not taking himself out of the equation. The representative also states the president took the side of the black Harvard professor when he was arrested by a white police officer for breaking into his own house. The way I remember it, the president facilitated a meeting at the White House so both men could have a civil discussion about the incident. Both men, not one.
No one wants to pull the race card because the race card is tired, overused and, in some instances, abused. However, one has to wonder if his race is not the true reason why certain segments of society denounce every speech, proposal and goodwill gesture the president makes. You don’t like him? OK, don’t like him. I certainly haven’t liked every president our country has had during my lifetime. But, respect the position. For Christians praying for Obama’s death, please reacquaint yourselves with 1Timothy 2:1-4. For those who want to recite quotes from the president and/or his appointees, make sure you quote in full context and not spread inaccuracies and outright lies. Let’s start being Americans and let go of all the Republican, Democrat, Tea Party, Birther, left-wing, right-wing, conservative, liberal labels. Stop twisting personal agendas into national platforms. You may temporarily exalt yourself, but you will also undoubtedly aid in the unraveling of our country’s moral fiber.
Happy Memorial Day. While many celebrated today with picnics and cookouts, pool parties and beach holidays, I hope a moment was taken observe the true intent of this day – honoring our brave servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can have picnics & cookouts and pool parties & beach holidays. Let a veteran know his or her hard work was and is appreciated.
We lost a television icon on May 28. Gary Coleman, who portrayed the character Arnold Jackson on the hit sitcom Diff’rent Strokes, passed away from head injuries sustained in fall at his home in Utah. Although he grew to dislike the character and catchphrase that him famous – “Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout Willis?” – I hope he understood the hours of joy he and the cast of Diff’rent Strokes provided me and countless other children of the ’80s who sang along to the theme song, swooned over Arnold’s older brother Willis and thought of Arnold as the little brother they either had or wished they had. Farewell, dear fellow.
We also lost Dennis Hopper on May 29, 2010 after a valiant fight with cancer. I am too young to remember his hit Easy Rider, and only saw a few of his films, Blue Velvet being the standout for me. Goodnight to a great writer and actor.
A member of the Temptations lost his battle with cancer on May 30, 2010. Ali-Ollie Woodson was not a founding member of the Hall of Fame quintet, but was lead singer in the ’80s and ’90s. I remember humming along to “Treat Her Like a Lady” while it played on the radio and loving the conviction in his voice and velvety delivery. Thank you for sharing your gift with the world.
As the extended weekend draws to a close, I am reminded more than ever how fleeting life is. Remember to tell those closest to you how much you love them and don’t assume they already know. Take time from your busy days to smell the roses, appreciate a clear blue sky and have one good belly laugh.
May you continue to be showered with God’s blessings and mercies.